April 27, 2024


Ep. 417 - Live Show - Coronation Time: The DCL Duo's Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Trip Report

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 417 - Live Show - Coronation Time: The DCL Duo's Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Trip Report
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 417 - Live Show - Coronation Time: The DCL Duo's Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Trip Report

Apr 27 2024 | 01:24:14


Show Notes

It's time!! We're sharing our review of our Royal Caribbean sailing aboard the Oasis of the Seas for a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise to St. Thomas, St. Marteen, and Perfect Day at Coco Cay over our son's Spring Break. This was Sam's first time on RCCL and my second time on RCCL, but also my first time on an Oasis class ship. We're sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. Did Royal win over two die-hard Disney Cruise Line (DCL) fans? Come listen to find out!

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: The number of times I was told don't see cats. By many, many people. [00:00:04] Speaker B: Yeah, by many people. Not just me. I just told you that's 90 minutes of your life. You'll never get mad. [00:00:08] Speaker A: Your opinion is the only one that matters, honey. [00:00:10] Speaker B: That's right. [00:00:23] Speaker A: Welcome back, everyone, to another live edition of the DCL duo podcast, brought to you by my path, unwinding travel. And it's the big one, Sam. It's the Royal Caribbean review. I want to say thanks to everyone out there who is watching. We're going to skip the hellos tonight because this is a jam packed episode and we are under a bit of a time constraint because we got to pick our son up here from an appointment in a little over a couple hours, so. [00:00:50] Speaker B: And poor Brian literally just walked in the door, like, four minutes ago, everyone. So I'm sorry if we are a little bit discombobulated more than usual tonight, because he literally walked in the door and logged on. And we are live with you all. [00:01:03] Speaker A: Yeah, we live in the Pacific Northwest, where it rains a lot, but when it rains, no one seems to figure out how to drive. So anyway, that is what it is. But we are here. We are live. We're going to talk to you about our Royal Caribbean cruise on the oasis of the seas. We got a special offer from our show sponsor that we'll be talking about a little bit later in the show. So if we pique your interest about Royal Caribbean, stick around. Special offer in store for you from my path on winning travel. But, Sam, let's just dive in. We're going to go day by day. We typically break these up into topical, but it's going to be hard for us to give you the full experience unless we go day by day. We took the oasis of the seas on a seven night eastern Caribbean sailing out of the port of Miami. It stopped at St. Thomas, it stopped at Cococay, and it stopped at St. Martin. We were originally supposed to stop at Labadee in Haiti, but because of everything going on there, Royal Caribbean canceled that stop and replaced it with St. Martin. [00:02:05] Speaker B: On a different day. So we had a switch day to a port day, but we still have. [00:02:10] Speaker A: This talk about a little bit. We might talk a little bit about it because it was kind of an interesting thing that happened there in terms of some of the onboard activities and things like that. But they switched us up. Not all the sailings have been switched over, by the way. So some sailings on royal are just skipping it all together and having a sea day. [00:02:26] Speaker B: Yep. [00:02:26] Speaker A: That's it. So we flew into Miami the day before. We followed our own guidance. We never just. We never just fly in the day of a terrible idea, especially from the west coast, because we can't get there to get on the cruise. [00:02:37] Speaker B: That's right. We got to give a hot take about that hotel. [00:02:41] Speaker A: Well, that's where I'm headed. So we flew to Miami the day before, took an Uber to our hotel. I believe it was a Hyatt grand regency or something along those lines. Yeah. [00:02:52] Speaker B: The Hyatt Grant Regency, Miami. [00:02:55] Speaker A: Yes. [00:02:56] Speaker B: Very central location. [00:02:58] Speaker A: Yes. And I will say we heard from some listener feedback that there are some people who've stayed there who've loved it. It is right on one of the waterways and right on the main road through the downtown area that people. People seem to kind of cruise down. It's near Brickell, which is kind of a nightlife area of town. [00:03:17] Speaker B: Yeah. It's attached to, like, a concert venue slash conference center as well, that we. [00:03:23] Speaker A: Although that wasn't the core problem. The core problem was we had a room, and I think all the rooms in the hotel would have this problem that was, like, near the waterway and near the roadway. And people were cruising, like, you know, all hours of the night, playing loud music, cruising the waterway on their boats, playing loud music. It was a hopping time. I mean, to be fair, it was a Saturday night. I think that we. [00:03:46] Speaker B: It was a Saturday night, and at all hours of the night, we could hear what sounded like drag racing or music kind of on and off because of people passing by. Now, we were up on the 6th floor, so we were not, like, on ground floor or anything like that. I don't know if it was just how loud it was or if it was the windows of this hotel, but in our hotel room, when we got there, we should have known this was a clue that we should have turned around and checked out. There were two pairs of earplugs, and there was. Was a white noise machine next to the bed. Now that we had a nice size room and, you know, Nathan had a pull out couch to sleep on. Um, and he slept just fine. But, yeah, it was kind of crazy how loud it was. And so it's just not a hotel. I'd recommend. I don't want to belabor the issue, but I wouldn't recommend it. [00:04:34] Speaker A: Not recommended by the DCl duo. In fact, we canceled a reserve, another reservation we had there, uh, for an upcoming cruise out of Miami and switched it back over to a Marriott. Uh, so, uh, yeah, we did have a fabulous dinner that night. I don't quite remember the name of the restaurant. It was an italian place that we walked to. [00:04:49] Speaker B: Paraconis. [00:04:50] Speaker A: Yeah. So shout out to Willie for a recommendation around that if you're in Miami. I guess it's a little odd to fly all the way to Miami to have italian food, but that's what we did. So it was. It was good. We had a good meal. Woke up the next morning, we ubered to the port of Miami. We didn't use any sort of hotel provided transportation to the port. I will say Uber has gotten out of hand with its pricing, but we ubered over to the port. I want to start with the backup for a second and talk about the check in experience and the activity booking experience on Royal. So activity booking, I know we've covered this on the show before, is very different on Royal Caribbean than what you experience on Disney cruise line. Royal just kind of puts stuff out as it's available. So, like, one day you'll go check. There's no shore excursions, and then the next day shore excursions or shows are available. Yeah, shows are available to book for you. Reserve seats in the shows. There's no cost to reserve seats in. [00:05:46] Speaker B: The shows or dining reservations pop up and things like that. [00:05:48] Speaker A: Dining packages. Plus, royal runs sales all the time. So you might go book a dining package, for example, and then find out that you could have gotten it for cheaper. When you book something on royal, you pay at the time. So if you buy a dining package, drink package, you book a shore excursion, anything like that. Any of the other upgrades you pay at the time, if they run a sale, you can always cancel, and then the credit goes back to your credit card and you can just repurchase at the lower price. There's a little hassle there because sometimes it takes a little longer for the refund to come, come in and all that sort of stuff. But we did that several times throughout the booking process to take advantage of lower prices. And I don't. I don't mind them, you know, the refund and the charge on the card, taking a little time to resolve. So that. That all works great. [00:06:36] Speaker B: Same with cabanas and casitas. You can do that as well. It's. It's different than Disney, where you have a specific day that you can book everything depending upon your castaway club status. This is kind of a free for all, but it's also less of a rope drop culture in the sense that you don't necessarily have to book on the day all this stuff opens of course, it's hard to know when they're going to open because they don't announce when they're going to open things. But joining Facebook groups is helpful because then you have multiple people who are stalking the website and will sort of post usually when somebody's available. [00:07:10] Speaker A: To be fair, almost everything we wanted was always available. So, like. And the other thing I want to highlight, we booked a. They have three categories of suites, which I know we've had, I think, Karen on the past and others to talk about the suites. We sailed in a sky class suite, which is, they do see sky stars. So we were not in star class with the butler. We were in sky class, which is, we'll get to this in a second. But very akin to concierge. And so we could have, we could have waited until our concierge team reached out to us to do things like book some dining and some other things. Being the Disney people that we are, we were like, you know, like, oh, my God, am I not gonna be able to get what I want? So we booked it all ourselves. Lesson learned. We should have taken Matt's advice, I think, on the dining especially, and potentially canceled all of our dining reservations, bought a dining package because we ended up actually adding another specially restaurant on board, which we'll talk about in a second. And then just had the concierge book the times we wanted, but we didn't do that. Lesson learned. It didn't cost us so much that I'm like, you know, annoyed about it. But just know if you're sailing in that suite class experience, it's not like disney where 130 days in advance, you tell them what you want and then like 120 days, it's like a maximum. [00:08:30] Speaker B: Of seven days in advance. If you're, if you're selling suite class, if you're sailing regular, um, you are going to want to be stalking that website. And like I said, join the Facebook groups. The Facebook groups are not. Well, I'm sure it depends, but in general, I think the Facebook groups are not as active as Disney Facebook groups, but they do exist. And there are people that will post about, you know, oh, the shows are up or, oh, dining is up, or, oh, drink packages are on sale so you can get alerts that way. That's probably your best, your best place to get alerts. [00:09:03] Speaker A: So we got everything we needed, wanted, times we wanted. Everything worked out great for us. So I have no complaints with Royal about the pre cruise booking process. We'll talk about costs at the end of the show. I'm sure people are interested to understand, like, so we paid for a bunch of stuff on top of the cruise fare and how it all factor in. I am going to talk about that. The next thing in the process I want to talk about, though, is the online check in. And dear Disney like Royals online check in. Now, I will say this. I did hit some snags this time, but in general, their online check in process is fabulous. You go into the app, it is one screen, not five screens or six screens. It will pull in information from prior sailings, I'm fairly sure, because I think my information populated on one of the check ins I just had to do for an upcoming cruise we have on Royal in May. And basically it was like, okay, scan your passport. I held it up and it wasn't one of those things where you're like holding your phone in your hand and you're like, you're trying to get the passport position just right. It was like a passport came into frame and it was like, bam. Passport information imported and 100% accurate. You know, take a selfie. Done. Done. That was it. Done. Add a credit card. Done. And that. And choose your port arrival time. Done. It was literally like four steps all on basically one screen. And then I did that for each of us, you know, bam, bam, bam. We were checked in in like less than five minutes, which, you know, on Disney, that's easily a ten to 15 minutes exercise, especially if you have a kid. Now, one downside of it is, you know, Disney, when you check in, you do a lot of the pre check in process for the kids clubs on royal. You do none of it. You will. You will do that stuff on board. And we can talk about that in a second when we get to day one. But I kudos to Royal because I think that check in process was fantastic. And I know Matt previewed for us. You know, if you do that, you speed right through the port and again, get to that in 1 second. But the check in process, fantastic. Sam, what was the fun thing we got to do? Like, we'll talk about the arrival at the port, but on the way to the port, Matt gave us a tip that there was something we can do and we did it. [00:11:04] Speaker B: Yes. [00:11:05] Speaker A: That Disney doesn't let us do. [00:11:06] Speaker B: Yeah, you can watch the muster drill ahead of time. So there's a muster video. Basically you're doing it through their app. You watch the video, and then when you get on board, all you have to do is check in at your muster station and then you're done. So it's. It is the virtual muster drill similar to what Disney did after the reopening, the pandemic reopening, and, um, but now has obviously abandoned. And so it's great. Yeah. So we watched the video, did it in the, in the car. We were stuck in traffic quite a bit. So the Miami port, that's, that's what. [00:11:39] Speaker A: I wanted to talk about. [00:11:40] Speaker B: So, yeah, Miami port is kind of crazy. [00:11:42] Speaker A: Well, Royals port in Miami is particularly crazy. So the port is basically one long island in Miami and virgins all the way at one end of it. Royal is all the way at the other. MSC is soon to be right past royal. Royal's got the largest ships sailing in and out of Miami right now. But the traffic was insanely backed up to get to terminal a, where Royal is. Terminal AAA is going to be where MSC cruises is going to be. But, you know, royals trying to get, uh, what was it, six to 7000 people on an off a ship, uh, when they have a ship in port. And it just. We must have sped to the port and then spent 15 or 20 minutes just sitting in traffic to get around a turn to where we could drop off our luggage. Now, that said, once we got around the turn and out of the car and the luggage was to the porters because we were sky class, uh, in a suite class, we walked in a special, like a special door went up an elevator, went to a seating area. Someone came over with an iPad, had us verified. [00:12:45] Speaker B: We verify, sat down. [00:12:46] Speaker A: Yeah, we didn't even need to sit down, re verify our passports. And then Sam was like, so do we just. Do we, do we just wait here? And she was like, no, just go get in the ship. And she's like, oh, where's the line? There was no line. [00:12:58] Speaker B: So there was no line. [00:12:59] Speaker A: We, we walked over, we walked around the gate from door to door in the sky class that, that we sailed. And I think for c class too. I can't remember. [00:13:07] Speaker B: Yeah, it is. It's for C junior sweets and above. So c class, sky class and star class all, get this, and actually pinnacle, which are the, like, we'll talk about them in a ultra, ultra, ultra pearl of Royal Caribbean. [00:13:20] Speaker A: The gold name tag wearers. Yeah. On board. Yeah, it was ten minutes. Once we got out of the car and dropped the luggage, it was max of ten minutes. I don't even think it was standing in the atrium. [00:13:30] Speaker B: It was fabulous on the promenade deck, Brian. [00:13:34] Speaker A: They had a nice lounge. We had to wait. It would have been comfortable, but like it. Yeah. So great boarding experience. All right, now here's the question everyone has been waiting for. Sam, we. We did take care of our mustache after we got on board, but, sam, you walk across the gangway to board the fabulous. I feel like I'm interviewing our guests aboard the fabulous royal oasis of the seas. And you get on and what? First impressions? First impressions? [00:14:02] Speaker B: First impressions were, okay. So we walk on, and we're actually walking onto, like, what I think is the running track. And then we walk into the promenade deck, which is. It's different. I'm not like the promenade deck on Disney, where you are walking outside their promenade deck is the sort of a central hub where there's, like, bars and restaurants and stores, and it looks a lot like a mall. It was very pretty. I was like, I am definitely not in Kansas anymore. I'm not in Disney anymore. It's not an atrium. It's a very different look. But the first thing I see are basically, there's some stores, there are some balloons that are tied up to the ceiling because there was going to be a balloon drop that night at midnight. Yeah, it was very pretty, though. I thought everything was very clean. I was impressed at how clean everything was. But there was no characters, there was no Mickey, and there were no cast members cheering you on. And, of course, nobody announced our family name to welcome us aboard the oasis of the sea. So that was certainly different. The first thing I really wanted to do was to, like, just walk around and check out, you know, all the different spaces and just kind of see things and get my bearings. I did find it was pretty easy to navigate the ship. Like, the layout was not super confusing, with one exception in that, because there's kind of a. I'm going to call it a hole in the middle of ship, but it's because Central park, the ship doesn't. The floors don't necessarily go all the way across, and you have that on the top decks on Disney cruise line. But it's a little bit. [00:15:45] Speaker A: There's a massive. On the Oasis class ships, there's a massive atrium down the middle. Like, that's what's open air. [00:15:52] Speaker B: Yeah. Called Central park. [00:15:53] Speaker A: Well, open air, yeah. For up above and then below Central park, it's more of, like a vaulted ceiling kind of thing. I'd say the. My impression initially on, like, the independence of the seas was that area felt like a mall. I think. I think we both agree that after being on the ship for seven nights, what it really was more akin to is being at, like, a really nice Las Vegas resort on the ocean. [00:16:17] Speaker B: Yes. [00:16:18] Speaker A: Like, that's what it felt like. [00:16:19] Speaker B: Yeah, it looks a little bit mollished when you first come in, but it's not mallish in the sense of like, there's not stores, like, lined. There are a few stores, but it didn't feel like there were stores lining everywhere, which I was pleasantly surprised by that because that's the thing I was kind of afraid of. But I would agree. It definitely felt more like a Vegas, this resort than being on an ocean liner, which is kind of the vibe or the feel of Disney. So the sort of that, that's the contrast I would, I would put there. But, yeah, we did our muster station right away. That was super easy. We walked around, we ended up getting. I'm trying to think, what are the things we did? You have a list of everything. [00:17:00] Speaker A: I got you covered, Sam. I'll guide you. I'll guide you. All right. [00:17:02] Speaker B: You good? Because I honestly can't remember everything we did. We did so much on Disney. [00:17:06] Speaker A: One key difference between, so just for those of you out there who sell concierge on Disney, one key difference difference between Royal and Disney in this regard. Our room was not ready. All the rooms were ready at about the same time at like one, one o'clock, one thirty, I think it was. They were ready. So you did have to keep everything with us now because we were, you know, we could have gone to the buffet. There was a sit down option for lunch. There's also several, like, eateries that were open. Uh, you could have done a specialty restaurant for lunch if you really wanted to. I think. I think some of them were open. [00:17:37] Speaker B: Some of them were open. Not all of them were open. [00:17:39] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:17:39] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:17:39] Speaker A: And maybe we'll talk about all the restaurants here in a second. Cause we did check most of them out, but we went to our room and I want to share. So our room was a crown loft suite for those that, that doesn't make sense to. It was a two story kind of thing where the bottom floor had a bathroom, kind of a small dining area, some closet space, a couch that turned into bunk beds. Not any bed. [00:18:06] Speaker B: It was quite cool. [00:18:07] Speaker A: Bunk beds. It was very cool. A tv. We had a huge deck off the back because we're on the back of the ship. Huge deck was fabulous. That deck was fabulous. And we spent some time, except for. [00:18:17] Speaker B: Its view, because we were over. [00:18:19] Speaker A: I actually thought it was interesting. [00:18:20] Speaker B: I got to watch basketball court, which is also the pickleball court, which is also the volleyball court. [00:18:25] Speaker A: I got to watch dodgeball. I got to watch adult bad adult basketball. I don't mind the view. And then there was a set of stairs that went up to a landing that had a large, like a king size bed up there. Another bathroom and a set of closets. I thought it was a gorgeous. They have live plants and fake plants. They had fake plants and rockery in the room. This is by no means, by the way, the highest end suite that royal offers. [00:18:51] Speaker B: No, this is quite a few levels down from the highest end suite. I'm seeing a couple of comments about floating Vegas and whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing. I think it depends on who you are. I'm going to say, like, I don't think Vegas is a bad thing. I think it's just. It's a different vibe. Right. It's not a Disney vibe. [00:19:08] Speaker A: Well, and I want to distinguish it from Vegas in one regard. So let's just skip ahead for a second about casino. We didn't use the casino much, nor did we have to walk through the casino ever. Unless we chose to. [00:19:18] Speaker B: Not even much. Brian. We didn't use the casino at all. At all, actually, we did not gamble at all. There is a large casino that allows smoking. There is also an oasis class ships. There's also a small casino that's open in the evenings. That is a non smoking area. And that was nice. If I was going to gamble, that's where I would have, but I didn't feel the need to. I've gotten kind of. I'm not anti gambling. I actually like playing at card tables. I wouldn't play slots. That's not my thing. [00:19:48] Speaker A: But I want people to know that the casino was like, essentially in the basement. [00:19:52] Speaker B: It was. You didn't have to go anywhere near it if you didn't want to. It was very easily avoidable. There were a lot of people that were going down there, but you certainly didn't. And it was a big entertainment space in the evening, meaning a lot of people would go there. But it certainly was something you could easily avoid. [00:20:11] Speaker A: And there were entrances to other venues outside of the casino. Actually had to walk down a very long hallway from those venues to even get to the casino. So the casino was a non factor here. So the only reason I said Vegas is there's just a lot of, like, neon and, you know, and that sort of stuff. But it's not. You could. You could just as easily say a really nice resort hotel on the ocean. Right, right. All right, so one other thing about our first day. So we got up to our room, uh, we. Because we were in the suite class, the sweet lounge and a specialty restaurant. Ps, Disney does not offer that. In concierge. There's a special restaurant just for sweet class guests called coastal kitchen. And so we had a guest and. Yeah, you keep talking about pinnacle. Let's just. We're not pinnacle. No one watching this show is pinnacle. So, uh, there's coastal kitchen that is dedicated for sweet guests. Um, and, uh, we went to have lunch there. And, um. Sam, what did you think of lunch at coastal kitchen? [00:21:11] Speaker B: I thought it was nice. I mean, it was similar to sitting in a main dining, except much, much, much smaller. So we're talking about, I don't know, maybe 25, 30 tables, something like that at any given time. There are some bigger ones and mostly four tops. But I thought coastal was nice in general, I would say it was a good place for breakfast. It was my. My preferred place to go for breakfast over Windjammer. We'll talk about windjammer later. But I enjoyed the first lunch. I thought the food quality was good, the service was good. Yeah. But it reminded me most of main dining on Disney. That's what I would give it as a comparison, but on a much smaller level and much quieter because it only serves the sweet guests and pinnacle guests as well. [00:22:04] Speaker A: Yeah. Let's pause here for 1 second and just talk about the restaurant experience on board. So there's main dining, obviously. Sam, you walked into the main dining room. I took a peek in as well. It's a gorgeous dining room. And I'll say, I know in my review of the independence of the seas, I faulted royal because it didn't feel like the dining room was kept up very well. This dining room actually looked quite nice. [00:22:25] Speaker B: It was very pretty. It was three different levels. And I will say my sister and her family were traveling with us, although they were eating separately for the most part because she has very young kids doing the set, early dining. They ate in main dining for dinner, I think six out of the seven nights that we were on board, because they only. They had hibachi with us one night and they were very happy in Maine dining, and they were on a level or in a section that only had families with young children, so they did not feel like they were being disrupted or that they or their kids who are, I'll just say they're rambunctious little boys, a two year old and a four year old, that they didn't feel like they were interrupting anybody else's den. [00:23:07] Speaker A: Yeah. And so the. The one thing royal does in main dining every night's kind of a theme. Now, I will say we were told we should avoid main dining, so we did not make it into Maine dining. Sorry. Uh, we did hear reviews from Sam's sisters. She thought the food was fine. They have, you know, they have a mexican night, an italian night, they had a caribbean night. Uh, they had a lobster night, uh, all that sort of stuff. Um, we chose to eat at a lot of the different specialty restaurants because we wanted to sample them, and we want to try coastal kitchen. I see a comment here about, uh, you know, is coastal kitchen better than main dining? That is, you know, that is the aim, is a higher level of food. [00:23:43] Speaker B: Yeah, they do have some of. So if you look at the main dining menu and you look at the coastal kitchen menu, there are some dishes that are identical that they. Presumably, at least their descriptions are identical. Um, so presumably the actual dishes are identical, but they do, in addition to those identical sort of standard dishes, they have some ones that I think are supposed to be elevated. Um, if I can tell you, like, the quality. Quality of the food, to me, seems. I don't think it seems elevated in comparison to Maine dining on Disney cruise line, but it is probably elevated compared to main dining on Royal Caribbean cruise line. [00:24:17] Speaker A: I think Maine dining on Royal is likely to be below the food standard you would experience on Disney Cruise line. I think coastal kitchen will be close to, if not on par with a Disney dining experience. Maybe some dishes that go. There were some dishes that we had that you would not see on Disney. They were very flavorful, a lot of spice to them. So, you know, that was really nice to see the other night. Seemed about coastal kitchen. At least we could eat there for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We didn't have to make reservations. Well, we made reservations for it. You're supposed to, but it wasn't hard for us to get a reservation. So I think that's what's supposed to be the cut above coastal kitchen are all of these specialty restaurants. Now, in addition to the specialty restaurants, which we'll talk about day by day here as we eat in them, there are other upcharge food options on board. So there's a Johnny Rockets on board. It's not a la carte, it is a fixed. So you walk in, you pay one price, you get a burger, you get fries, and a milkshake is extra unless you have a beverage package. They had a hot dog place that was included. And so we had playmakers, which was. [00:25:25] Speaker B: Like a burger and wings. [00:25:27] Speaker A: Like, that's a la carte. A la carte. [00:25:29] Speaker B: And same with portside barbecue, also a la carte cart. So they had a couple of. Couple of different options. As Brian mentioned, there's a mexican place that's like a quick service mexican place that's included. All of the sit down specialty restaurants are add on charges. [00:25:45] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:25:45] Speaker B: And I think we've got a question about what? What? [00:25:48] Speaker A: Hold on, hold on. I think. I think I just want to correct. I think I lied. I don't think we had lunch at coastal kitchen. I think we went to the. I think we went to coastal kitchen, or. [00:25:54] Speaker B: Sorry. [00:25:54] Speaker A: We went to the sweet lounge, and I got a hot dog on day one. I remember that. I think I got a hot dog for lunch because I just wasn't very hungry after the breakfast that we'd had at the hotel. And then we had dinner at coastal kitchen. [00:26:04] Speaker B: That's right. You're right. [00:26:05] Speaker A: Which I think is good. So. Yes. [00:26:06] Speaker B: So Wesley's asking where we. What are. What room number we were in. We were actually in room number 1738. So we were on deck 17. All of the sky class, at least. The crown lofts are on deck 17, which was great, because we were. [00:26:22] Speaker A: All of the lofts on oasis, I think, were on 17. [00:26:25] Speaker B: Yeah. Which was great because we were right. By coastal kitchen, which is. It's a little bit weird, but the lounge, the suite lounge encompasses a lounge side and coastal kitchen. It is all one large room, so there is kind of a separation, but it's all in one large room. Karen is asking, what about the escargot? This is a great question, Karen, because, as you know, Josh Wilson contended that the escargot on Royal Caribbean was better than the escargot on Disney cruise line. So, of course, we had to try it. I believe we actually had it on night one. At dinner, Brian and I shared an order of escargot, and I would say they were on par. I wouldn't say that royals was any better. I wouldn't say it was any worse. I would say they were pretty equivalent. I don't know. What do you think, Brian? [00:27:16] Speaker A: I don't know, but I got to move us along. All the comments in the chat, we got to keep going. We haven't even gotten out of it. We're halfway through the show. I think what we may need to do, folks, is we will try to address these questions as we go, but if we can't, we may come back and do, like, a Q and a episode or something along those lines to answer these questions in the chat. We super appreciate everyone watching, but got a lot of information to share in a very compressed amount of time, so we will see what we can do here. Um, okay. Also. Also on day one, we registered Nathan for the kids club, and I wanted you to talk about that, share that experience, Sam, of getting him registered. [00:27:48] Speaker B: Yeah. So, because nothing is pre registered, when we got there, I had to fill out a bunch of stuff on the iPad. If your child has no medical issues, no diagnoses, no nothing, it will probably be a pretty fast process. You go into sort of what they call the adventure ocean like, theater area, and that's where you fill out the iPad. Because our kiddo has obviously some. Some disabilities that we've talked about before on the show. It took me a little bit longer to fill out that stuff. I wish that that was something that I could have filled out in advance, but the space looked pretty nice. We didn't get to go, like, sort of back into the club, but Nathan, I will say, did have a really great time in the Kids club in general. He would give you, I would say probably a two thumbs up review. I will say we did have one issue with the Kids club, with him a little bit, because there was quite a competitive gaga ball tournament, and Nathan felt kind of slighted by the counselors not listening to him when he got out a couple of times, and he didn't think it was fair, so they didn't maybe handle that so well. But in general, Nathan had a great time. He spent every single night at the Kids club, basically after dinner, which allowed us to do some adult late night activities. So that was great. He seemed to really enjoy it. He also really enjoyed the arcade. So that would be another thing I think he had a great time with. That's something that is not available on Disney cruise line. It obviously costs money. The kids club doesn't cost any money. Arcade does. With regard to the kids club, though, there is one thing I wanted to mention. After 10:00 p.m. If your child does stay in the kids club, it will cost you $10 an hour or $5 every half hour for your kid to stay in the kids club. And until I can't remember if it's midnight or 01:00 a.m. Or 02:00 a.m. I think it depends. It's differently different depending upon the night. That is a very cheap babysitting price, from my opinion. And Nathan stayed in the kids club till, I don't know, 11, 11 30 most nights. So he really had a great time with that. [00:29:54] Speaker A: Also, on day one, we did have a chance to go down to the spa and tour the tour of the spa. The thermal suite was specifically what we wanted to tour. I will say this massive space devoted to exercise for all of you Disney fans who wish the wish had a running track ship, had an amazing outdoor track running track. Great ship for runners. We did a run while we were on board. It was fantastic. The thermal suite, however, is not something that I would spend money on for a ship that holds I think, 6000 people. The thermal suite looked to be about the same size as the thermal suite on the wonder and the magic. And so they did say that they really don't sell many of the passes into the thermal suite in order to keep the crowd down. But in my opinion it was no, no real difference between it and what's on the magic of the wonder. In fact, in some ways it may have been a more lesser experience. I did not buy a pass because I just said it's just not, it's not worth it. It didn't have any outside view anything. [00:30:48] Speaker B: We did use the spa though, so I want to talk about that really quick. I want to say Echo Brian's comments. The gym is enormous. The gym is really nice. If you're a gym rat, you'll love their gym. But I will say the spy I don't think was quite as nice as the spa on Disney Cruise line. I did have a manicure, pedicure and I also had a massage and I felt like the treatment rooms and equipment were just not nearly as nice as Disney Cruise line. [00:31:15] Speaker A: Yeah, I was going to talk about that on day two because that's when we had our spa treatments. Let me guide you. Let me guide you. [00:31:21] Speaker B: I'm trying to help us get to different topics quicker. [00:31:24] Speaker A: Sorry, I will. But I want to talk about my spa experience too. On day one was jam packed. You also had rock climbing with Nathan. You tried the rock climbing wall. No fee for rock climbing, no added fee that was included. [00:31:37] Speaker B: I did not try it. Let me just be clear. It was huge. [00:31:40] Speaker A: It was a huge wall. [00:31:41] Speaker B: There was actually two of them. We only, only one of them was open that day. I think the other one was open on other days. But yeah, Nathan tried the rock climbing. He was not great at it. I did not brave it. But yeah, it was an included activity. There's also a zipline that's an included activity. We didn't try that. And we did mini golf that day as well, Nathan and I. There's a nine hole mini golf course which was fun. It was. I think the same golf courses you had mentioned you had done or really similar to on. [00:32:13] Speaker A: It was very similar. Yeah, it was the same name. It looked like the same kind of holes and everything. So, yeah, we did check out the theater so Sam could see the stage set up for cats. Full disclosure, I did have a seat reserved to see cats. And Sam berated me enough that I decided to not go see cats. So we did. [00:32:31] Speaker B: I did not berate you. I just told you the number of. [00:32:34] Speaker A: Times I was told don't see cats by many, many people, Zachary. [00:32:37] Speaker B: Yeah, by many people, not just me. I just told you that's 90 minutes of your life you'll never get. [00:32:42] Speaker A: Your opinion is the only one that matters, honey. [00:32:43] Speaker B: That's right. [00:32:44] Speaker A: So I did not see cats. We are going to be on allure next month and I do think Sam is going to make efforts to see the main stage show. So did not see. [00:32:54] Speaker B: So I will. Mamma mia is also not my favorite show. But it is no cats. So cats is just not. Just not my favorite. I hate it. [00:33:04] Speaker A: The other thing we did on day one was we tried out the abyss. So they have a ten story dry slide that goes from deck 16 all the way down to the main deck. I think it's four. Basically. You basically get the equivalent of a nice potato sack and you put yourself in it and you slide all the way down. That was really fun. Nathan enjoyed that. I enjoyed that. That was a good, that was a good time. [00:33:26] Speaker B: I had fun. [00:33:27] Speaker A: We did everything on day one, it seems like, so. [00:33:29] Speaker B: Well, we tried to do a lot because we knew we wanted to relax. And so the more we could explore and do, we were like, you know, the more we get to actually relax, too. [00:33:38] Speaker A: Yep. The other thing that we did, we got some nighttime. And so after we did coastal kitchen and Nathan went off to the kids club, we checked out Globe and anchor, which is one of the bars on board. It's their pub. [00:33:51] Speaker B: Globin, Atlas. [00:33:52] Speaker A: Globe and Atlas. Oh, I had globin. Whatever. So anyway, but the pub on board, they have a fabulous guitarist musician in there. And he had like a looping machine. And so he, he would play hip hop music. He'd play standard irish tunes. He'd play rock like he was really Dylan. It was a great, great place for some after dinner music and drinks. Had a fabulous time in there. So I will just say to put a point on. And the nightlife on board a royal ship is very different than the nightlife on board a Disney ship. Lots of options, lots of things to do lots of places to go for different experiences. We'll talk about some of those as we go here. But really enjoyed the guitarist and that venue. We went there a couple times during the cruise. It was really fabulous. And then we tried a different kind of bar experience. Sam, you remember the rising tide? You want to tell folks a little bit about that? [00:34:45] Speaker B: I love this. This actually is Nathan's favorite bar on Royal Caribbean, oddly enough, because we took him there not that first night, but on a different night. So you start out in the. On the promenade deck. So you're like, in an indoor space, and there's this bar, and it's kind of oval shaped. You walk in, there's two different entrances. The sort of gates close while you're sitting and enjoying your. [00:35:07] Speaker A: Every half hour. It's like. [00:35:09] Speaker B: And then it starts to rise, like, and it goes up two stories. So you go from. From deck five, I believe, to deck seven. Or is it deck six to deck eight? Yeah, yeah. So deck six to deck eight, and then you get to. [00:35:23] Speaker A: No, it goes from deck five to deck eight. [00:35:26] Speaker B: Oh, deck five to deck eight. Okay, so when you end, you're actually in Central park now. You are in a. There's a glass cover. So you're in an enclo, you're still in an inside space, but then you can go right outside if you want to leave, you leave on decade and you're in Central park. So you've basically taken an elevator ride while you've been sitting, enjoying your beverage. And I thought it was really fun. We, we hung out there actually a few times. And as I said, we brought Nathan there a couple nights later, and he. [00:35:53] Speaker A: Really, what's really fun, what's really fun about it, too, is because it ends on deck eight. Basically, all the specially. Most of the specialty restaurants we're going to talk about are on deck eight off of Central park. And so I like to, like, we'll go down to deck five, we'll get a drink, and then, oh, magically we're in Central park again and ready for our dinner. So it was a really cool concept of a bar. Right across the way is a bar that people have probably seen on social media a ton with the robotic arms making drinks. [00:36:16] Speaker B: Yes, it's the bionic bar. [00:36:17] Speaker A: We watched it. I did not order a drink from it. It was so slow to get a drink out of that bar because the arm kind of like, jerks around and makes movements. [00:36:25] Speaker B: It's cool to watch. It's a cool, it's a novel, it's a novelty I wouldn't hang out there. We did hang out there to watch the thing, make drinks for maybe five or ten minutes a couple of times, but I wouldn't hang out there and probably drink my drink there. [00:36:39] Speaker A: Yeah. All right. So, Sam, you stayed up until midnight for a very special, you know, event on Royal Caribbean. [00:36:45] Speaker B: That's right, yeah. [00:36:47] Speaker A: Tell folks about it. [00:36:48] Speaker B: So the balloon drop that I mentioned at the top of the show, there were balloons. There are different colored balloons. There was blue, white, and yellow, whatever royal's colors are. And they were in sort of nets on the ceiling. And at midnight, they did a countdown. The cruise director came out. It was actually the only time, I think, I saw the cruise director, and to this day, I couldn't tell you his name and what he looked like, which is obviously very different on DCL, where you see that person, like, over and over again. But they had a band playing. It was kind of like a New Year's Eve kind of a moment. They have a band playing for maybe 45 minutes to an hour before midnight in the promenade. Lots of people hanging out, dancing, singing along, just kind of having a good time. And at midnight, they dropped the balloons, and then they have everybody pop them and recycle them. So it was, uh, it was very loud. I'll put it. The popping of all the balloons is very loud. So once the balloons dropped and people started popping them, Nathan and I jetted out to head back to the room to go to bed. But he really wanted to stay up for the balloon drop, and so I let him. And he was wearing his pajamas, actually, at the balloon drop because we were, like, ready to go to bed as soon as it was done. [00:37:57] Speaker A: Yeah. All right, well, that ends us with day one. Okay, so we're going to. We're going to shift gears a little bit and really start to hit some of the highlights of the next several days. We did a ton on day one. Cause I wanted Sam to see as much as she could and get some first impressions of the ship. But things slowed down for us a little bit after this. Uh, days were filled more with excursions and things like that. So on day two, it was a sea day. Uh, as Sam mentioned, we did have some spa treatments. I will echo. You know, spa treatment was fine, but the space was not great. I don't. I don't know that I'd seek out a spa treatment on royal in future. I think Disney spa is much, much nicer. Um, but one fun activity we got to do on day two was the royal escape room. Uh, Apollo mission. I forget what it's called, but it's. It's so Royal Caribbean on, I think something like, yeah, royal Caribbean on some of its ships has escape rooms. I know I talked about one on independence of the seas. Oasis has one, which is completely different. So it's a completely different experience. Sam, what did you think of the escape room on board? [00:38:54] Speaker B: I thought it was really fun. Now, we, you know, of course, got paired up with a bunch of other people. I think we. I think we ended up with twelve people. And you really needed, I would say, at least eight people in order to be able to solve this thing. It was quite difficult. I thought, um, we ended up having, like, the. Our host gave, like, some hints throughout the, the experience. It was similar to a puzzle room experience or escape room experience on land, really. I wouldn't say it was any different doing it on a ship because you're in an enclosed room when you're doing it. I thought it was really well done. The production quality was high. Yeah, I enjoyed it. It was as good as we did. [00:39:35] Speaker A: It was as good as some of the. It was good. As good as some of the highest quality escape rooms we've done here in the Seattle area, which has some really great companies doing. [00:39:42] Speaker B: Yeah, we're kind of spoiled, so I want to put that out there. Like, we're spoiled by having really, like, high end, excellent production quality escape rooms in the Seattle area. And we've done a lot of them. Brian's done, I think, all of them, and I've done most of them. And so that's sort of my standard. And I would say this met that standard, and in some places exceeded because there was some, you know, technology involved, but it really did require a large group. And so even though. So we booked it as, like, individuals, and then they just pair you up with other people. So you all book it, you know, through the app, and they cancel it if there's actually, like, six people or less or something, because you really can't solve it without enough people because there's so many different puzzles and clues going on. But, yeah, it was a cool experience. [00:40:27] Speaker A: Yep, it was a great experience. All right, so the other big event on day two is we had our first specialty dining experience. Uh, also, I want to highlight, royal has, uh, you know, like, on Disney, they have formal nights. Royal actually does like, different dress codes, uh, than that. So they have a formal night, they have a white night, they have a caribbean night, they have a dressed your best night, which is sort of more open to interpretation around the formality of it. And then, of course, they have casual nights. This was the formal night. I actually packed my suit and wore it. And it was kind of fun because we had a specially dinner that night. We ate in chops, which is the steakhouse on board. Uh, I hadn't eaten at chops on independence. I thought it was a. I thought it was a really good dining experience. [00:41:06] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:41:06] Speaker A: On. On par with Palo, in my opinion. [00:41:11] Speaker B: I agree. I think it was a great dining experience. It is a steakhouse. So it's not the same as, like, Apollo because it's a steakhouse and not italian food. And I would say the steak quality is maybe not as high as the Apollo steakhouse on the wish, where you can get some really high end meats for, you know. [00:41:29] Speaker A: Yeah, there's no. There was no waigu or. [00:41:31] Speaker B: No, there was no wagyu. But. But I had a really nice New York strip. You had a really nice filet mignon. Nathan had a really nice filet mignon on. There were sides that you order. It's a flat fee, but you order whatever you want off the menu. So it's just a set price. I don't think there were any add ons. At least. I didn't notice any add ons on the menu. Just drinks. [00:41:53] Speaker A: Just drinks. [00:41:54] Speaker B: Right. And so we ordered some sides to share. Those were great. I thought the food was. Yeah. Very good quality. I was pleasantly surprised by that meal, for sure. It was probably. It was certainly one of my favorite meals on board, I would say. And Nathan, it was actually his favorite meal on board, he said. [00:42:13] Speaker A: Yeah. Uh, Josh, I see your question about the escape room. I don't remember the price of it. I like, for me, it was sort of, we're doing it, so I just didn't pay attention to the price. But I want to say it was like, maybe $129 or somewhere. Somewhere around. Around that hundred range plus or. -20 um. Uh, and, yeah, I enjoyed chops as well. I thought it was really, really good. Um, I did want to pause. We didn't highlight. So we did get the all inclusive drink package for this sailing. And we did it not because we thought it would be economical, because I still believe it almost never is, despite Matt Hochberg's best arguments to us. But we did it just for the all inclusive nature of it. You just showed your card half the time, and they give you a drink. There was no slip to sign ever. [00:43:01] Speaker B: And smoothies and things like that as well. [00:43:03] Speaker A: Yeah. The drink package included. Included soda, all non alcoholic beverages, and all alcoholic beverages up to a certain dollar value, and then you'd pay more, and it gave you discounts on bottles of wine and a whole bunch of stuff. So we did. I don't think it's economical, but I appreciated the convenience of it, and so I can kind of see the value of it from that standpoint. And it is annoying sometimes to have to pay for each drink along the way. But anyway, not economical. Just want to highlight, like, we had that package. So we never really, you know, in a restaurant or something like that, if we wanted a drink or a glass of wine or something, it was all included. Uh, and all of the specialty dining that we did, we paid for up front. So when we got on board, there was, again, nothing. We got zero dollar bills, and we would just leave a tip for the server, uh, that we thought was appropriate for the meal. So, um, so anyway, that was the. That was the dinner for night or for day two. Uh, the other thing we did on day two that you can't do on Disney Cruise line, Sam, is a little live karaoke, which, uh, a video of that is floating around in our Patreon group. If anyone wants to go check out Sam's full rendition, you have to become a patriot. [00:44:08] Speaker B: You've got to become a Patreon. So I got to sing karaoke in the music hall with a live band. There were only, I think, seven or eight spots for people to sing with the band. There's karaoke that goes on, like, all the time on royal in the spotlight lounge. And so this was in a different space. The spotlight lounge is where they have the karaoke machine and all of that kind of setup. But this was a special. It was in the app. It told you when it was. And all of that, or eight people got to sign up, and I decided to sign up with a little prompting from my husband and, yeah, saying, dolly Parton's nine to five. So that was really fun. Not something I don't think I've ever sang with a live band before. It's kind of terrifying because you really need to know, when you come in, there's no bouncing ball on a screen. You just get a sheet with lyrics. But it was really, really fun. Yeah, yeah. [00:44:59] Speaker A: Wesley brings up a good point, which segues us into another topic that we should cover. He said he didn't find the service in chops to be on par with Powell. I'm not going to disagree. Agree with you. I thought the service was fine. I thought it was good service. It wasn't sort of that, like, high level service. Now, I will say, while Sam appreciates the server who comes over and becomes best friends with you at the table, that's not my style. I just, like, bring me the food and the beverage that I've ordered in a quick and efficient way. And I'm happy to have a kind word, but, like, Sam will talk to the server all afternoon if she could. You're not going to get that on Royal. I thought the server was sort of my speed of server. Like, they brought the food, everything was hot. If there was an issue, they dealt with it. The only thing I'll say about service generally on royal is that I found a lot more crew conflict in public. I'll just put it that way. And I didn't get the same level of everywhere you go on Disney. If you make eye contact with someone who's a cast member, they're like, hi, how are you today? Have a magical journey. [00:45:59] Speaker B: Have a great breakfast. [00:46:01] Speaker A: I will say our stateroom attendees was on par with any stateroom attendant I've ever had on Disney Cruise line. I thought the concierge staff was on par with the concierge staff on the wish, just based on how they kind of work it. The concierge just sit at a desk just like, kind of they do on the wish. They don't really necessarily roam the room very much, but other than that, I'd say the service was, they were there to do their job, they would solve problems for you, but they weren't going to go out of their way to be super friendly and get to know you like that. Just. [00:46:35] Speaker B: And there were standouts and there were non standouts. Right. Like you see on any cruise line or any. Or frankly, in any restaurant, you'll have some people who are standouts and some people who are not. I would say the level of friendliness and the level of service was a step below Disney cruise line, but not. And not a bad. It wasn't bad in any way. [00:46:53] Speaker A: I'm actually equipped with you. I think there's a variable, a higher degree of variability in what you're going to get. I don't think it's as consistent as Disney. So just to answer that question from. From wesley, um, the karaoke. Fabulous. I was so proud of Sam for getting up there and doing it. Uh, it was really fabulous thing and something you can't do on Disney cruise line. Uh, I'm going to pause this here because, uh, I promised you a special offer, and, uh, Karen, from my path, unwinding travel, thank you for extending this offer. Out to our listeners. Um, but if you, if this is peaking your interest, and, uh, we may remind you again at the end of the show once we've given our full and final review, if this is peaking your interest and you've been thinking about sailing, sailing on royal. Karen has a fantastic offer here, and her team at my path, unwinding is their specialists in cruising. They are very knowledgeable about royal and have helped guide us through this process. But the offer that she has available right now is a stateroom category, onboard credit. So if you book a suite, you'll get $100 per stateroom credit. If you book a balcony, it's a dollar 50 per stateroom credit. An interior ocean view gets a $25 per stateroom credit. And that's for bookings through May 4. And on top of that, they've got a free specialty dining for two as an addition. The booking window for that is April 15 through May 14 of this year. The sailing window is July 1 through December 31 to the end of this year. So you have to book between April 15 or May 14 and sail between July 1 and December 31. And that is for balcony or suite on any seven night or longer, Caribbean, Bermuda, or Bahamas sailing. So if we're picking your, regardless of whether you can take advantage of those offers, if we're peaking your interest, please, please, please use our referral link. Head over to mypath unwinding.com dclduo. I think we also have an email, dclduoypathunwinding.com dot. If you reach out to those, they will take great care of you, help guide you through this process of grief as you leave Disney cruise line to try Royal. Don't worry, Disney will still be there to bring you back. So thank you, Karen, for that offer. Again, we'll put a reminder out at the end of the show, too, about those, because I think when we get to the final review, we might push some people over the edge. We just may. So. All right, let's move on to day three. Now, this was another sea day for us. It was supposed to be a stop a port day. Interestingly, I mentioned at the front of the show that there were some oddities around activity, booking and things. This was one, this was supposed to be a port day. On board, they have some things you can book, and there's a price difference between port and Sea day. When they switched the sailing and put a port day on a sea day and a sea day on a port day, they didn't adjust any of the prices. [00:49:33] Speaker B: Yeah. So the casitas which are kind of like day beds, you can book those and they're like $120, let's say, on a port day, but they're like $450 on a sea day. And they didn't adjust the pricing appropriately. So you, you know, if you wanted to book it on a day that was going to end up being a port day, you were going to pay $450. Doesn't make any sense. [00:49:57] Speaker A: Anyway, so anyway, we, uh, on the c days, we did spend some time on the pool deck. I want to highlight and Sam can give her impressions. Uh, Royal has a lot going on in their pool deck. A lot of pools, a lot of space that said crow dead. Like this was a spring break sailing. It was crowded. And, you know, Royal, I think, has a bit of reputation for chair savers and all of this. It was in full effect. It was very crowded. Now, we lucked out because we were sweet guests. They, they had a special deck on deck 17 forward. They had a sweet guest deck. It was very nice. They actually had some areas that were like small cabanas for this week, guests that you didn't have to book. It was just first come, first serve. They had deck chairs, they had a bar up there, bed things. [00:50:41] Speaker B: I mean, yeah, they had very, very nice. And it was kid friendly, even though there's no water up there. So there's no, like, there's no hot tubs, there's no wading pools? No, nothing like that. [00:50:49] Speaker A: Well, they have the sprayers. [00:50:51] Speaker B: Yeah. But if you want to relax, it's, it's a relaxing space. It's not a, there's no splash pad or anything that your kids are going to play in. So it's a. [00:50:59] Speaker A: But you still get all the kinetic energy from the pool deck down below, which was nice. Um, one difference is too, for sweet guests, you don't have to check towels in and out for the rest of the guests. You have to scan your card, check out the number of towels you want, and ps, return that same number of towels back to the towel station or else you will get charged 20 or $25 per towel. So, uh, we didn't have. We, we did do that on occasion if we needed extra towels. I don't think it's the biggest hassle in the world. It's just kind of annoying. Royal, up on their pool deck, in addition to having like, splash pads, multiple pools, tons of bars, they have a forward solarium area that's adult only. Now, that place was also jam packed. There's a restaurant in the solarium that we didn't actually try, but we did eat there one night for the chef's table, but it was packed. Like, the pool deck was just packed. The other thing was the. The really cool water slide they have, uh, on board has been down. [00:51:54] Speaker B: The one that has, like, the bowl. [00:51:56] Speaker A: Yeah. Several weeks. And so we. Nathan didn't get to do that water slide. He did a couple of the other water slides. He said they were fine, but very slow. So, um, so the cool water slide was shut down, but the others were, were working. Um, also up on the pool deck is where you'll find they have some, uh, Sam mentioned the barbecue place, uh, which we also tried. I think it might have been on day three that we tried it. I thought the. So the barbecue is, is a flat. No, it's a la carte. But basically you go in and you order kind of a meal. You can order items, olive cart, but there's really, like some meal with like two mains or three mains and two sides and a dessert and that kind of thing. We ordered one of those and then split it because it was a ton of food. [00:52:36] Speaker B: It was so much food. [00:52:37] Speaker A: Yeah. I think our review of the barbecue place is mixed. I think there were some good things on there. There were some not so great things. The banana pudding dessert or whatever that was called. Fantastic. [00:52:48] Speaker B: Some of the mini ribs were good. [00:52:50] Speaker A: Ribs were good. [00:52:50] Speaker B: The ribs were good. The pulled pork was just okay. [00:52:52] Speaker A: I thought the pulled pork was okay. [00:52:54] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. The sausage was not very good. So Beth is asking, how many people does this ship hold? Oasis class ships in general hold about 6000 people. [00:53:02] Speaker A: So this ship is about 2000 more than Disney's best. [00:53:05] Speaker B: Yeah, but I would say. I wouldn't. I wouldn't say it felt like there were 2000 more people, though, because it's a bigger ship, so more people, but spread out over more spaces. Larger spaces. Disney cruise line pool deck gets really crazy, too. So I'm not. I would agree the pool deck was generally crazy on sea days, but I wouldn't say it was any more significantly worse than or any different. [00:53:27] Speaker A: No, I mean, cruise line pool day, it's just like Disney. You'll be able to find a chair, but it may be in the direct sun all day. And if that's not your jam or you're like us and, you know, we. We walk outside and sparkle like Edward, uh, you know, like, like you. We couldn't. We couldn't do that. Like, we needed chairs in the shade. So that's where I mentioned earlier, our deck off of our room. That was fabulous. It was shaded most of the time that they had two very comfortable deck chairs out there that we could just sit on, so loved it. Um, also up on the pool deck, though, is where you'll find the flow rider. [00:53:56] Speaker B: Uh, to flow rider. [00:53:57] Speaker A: I'm going to skip ahead for a second and just say, uh, we all tried the flow rider. Nathan loved the flow rider. I had a good time. I had a good time on the floor. I think we posted some pictures in the group of us on the flow rider. Sam struggled in the beginning, but, you know, got the hang of it. [00:54:13] Speaker B: I couldn't even get up on my knees. [00:54:15] Speaker A: It was a really cool feature to have on the ship. And what I appreciated was it wasn't like, walk up, get your boogie board, and figure it out, right? It was. You got it. They did a little bit of training with you to help you understand how to get in and out and all of the safety stuff. And then when you got in, it was very structured. It was like, okay, now you've figured out how to hold your board steady. Now I want you to show me moving left and right. Now I want you to put your arms out and move left and right, you know. Now I want you. You to, you know, pose in different poses, like the. The person's up there the whole time, guiding you through the process. And then they. They show you, like, they demonstrate, like, I want you to do this motion to get on your knees on the board. Okay, now you've got on your knees on the board. I want you to do this motion to sit on the board. [00:54:52] Speaker B: So, yeah, and you could do it over and over again. This is also something that was. It's fully included. It doesn't cost you extra. Um, it's open, like, quite a few hours every single day. And as I mentioned, you could do it over and over again. There were two flow flow riders. One of them was dedicated to boogie boarding. So that's, anyone who's a beginner in doing this, that's what you're going to be doing. And then the other one was really dedicated toward, to surfing. And I will tell you that they won't let anybody just, like, go and keep going with surfing, there's some rules. They basically give you two tries, and if you don't stand up, then you've got a. If you're unable to stay standing up for, I don't know how many seconds, you have to wait an hour before you can come back. And then if once you pass a certain test, they give you a wristband and you can keep going on and on and on, but you got to be really good at that. That the boogie boarding is where it's at for anyone who is a beginner or even close to a beginner. So that's the only one that we went to. [00:55:43] Speaker A: Um, so. And I just want to highlight, too, there are some, like, private lessons you can buy if you're. If you're really concerned about it. There's. Sometimes they do some private lessons. Um, what else we saw on day three. So, uh, belly flop competition. Sam, it's not a royal caribbean cruise without the belly flop competition. Sam, you got to experience the first one. I got to say, winter was a guy from the state of Washington. Not. [00:56:05] Speaker B: He was a. He was a large man from the state of Washington. Apparently, there was a somebody who tied him, actually, who was not from Washington. But we just watched a little bit of it. It was only. It was at one of the pools. So in order to actually see it and hear it, you needed to go, like, either right up to that pool or, like, on the deck above to watch. So we watched from kind of the deck above from the lime and the coconut bridge is the area that we were standing on to watch it. And it was fun. There was nothing bad about it. I watched it just for a few minutes, though, and then I was like, okay, I'm done with that. It's not something that would keep me entertained for a long time. But it wasn't as. Let me put it this way, it wasn't as tasteless as I thought it would be. [00:56:46] Speaker A: So there you go. Not tasteless. That's the review I wanted to highlight. We did try to do one activity, a family activity together with Nathan. It was a science activity in the kids club. And we got there, and the space was tiny in comparison to the number of people that wanted to do it. So I didn't think that royal had the best space set up for family activities. Um, but it, you know, it. It was there. It was optional. If we'd shown up earlier, maybe we would have done it. But when we showed up, you know, maybe five minutes before, it was like, wall to wall people. So, um, just know that going in this, then I don't have, like, a d lounge equivalent, uh, on royal that I saw where they're really doing a ton of family activities. Uh, that night was white night. Uh, so I mentioned the dress code. So we had a white night that night, and, uh, we dressed our best white. Um, but the big highlight of the night, Sam, aqua 80. [00:57:35] Speaker B: Oh, my God. [00:57:36] Speaker A: Now before you give your review of Aqua ad, I want to give one caution about our room that we didn't mention up front because our room faced backwards. We could hear a lot of the aqua 80 show going on. And it was run multiple nights. They did 11:00 showings or 1030 1015 showings, but it ran past eleven. We can hear that music in our room and it was really difficult. So I would advocate if you're looking at one of the, of those crown loft suites, look for one on the sides, not one that faces the back. Um, I mean it didn't materially impact our enjoyment of the cruise in any real way. Cause Nathan was up until 1130 most nights but wanted to give that disclaimer, but Sam, aqua 80, the, the show you saw that you. [00:58:17] Speaker B: Yeah, this is, this is, this is the best show on board. This is a fantastic show. It involves acrobatics, diving, dancing and really fun eighties music. It has no plot, so don't expect a plot. Some of the dancing is a little bit cheesy, but the acrobatics and like the death defying feats that they do. And the diving is. And the swim. There's synchronized swimming too. It's incredible. I will say if Disney would do something like this, Disney would do it better, but Disney won't ever do something like this. And it's really, really cool. So I would give two thumbs up to Aqua 80. Definitely the best show on board. I know there are other aqua shows on other ships, but apparently they're different. And we have heard through the great find that the Aqua 80 show is actually the best of all of them. So we were, I think, lucky that my first one was that on the new ship coming out on Royal. I believe it's called the utopia of the seas. They're doing a new Aqua 80. A new aqua show called Aqua 82. T o o. So it's going to be something. Some other eighties themes and the different shows have different theming of the music. I think that's sort of the main part. But it was the first scene. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone, but the first scene is a back to the future scene. That's all I'm going to say. It's awesome. Totally, totally awesome. Such a great show. [00:59:42] Speaker A: Yeah. So I echo it. It was fabulous. I had a great time throughout. The seating was super comfortable. It was a small venue, so that's why they run it so many times. Again, one of the benefits of the suite class was we had a dedicated seating area up to a certain point, then they kind of opened up the ropes and let anybody in. But just, just a fantastic show. I didn't even care. There wasn't a plot. It was just really amazing to watch. [01:00:04] Speaker B: And you do have to show up early if you want to get in, if you. Well, you have to reserve and then if you want to get into the special seating for sky class and star class, um, you've got to get there early. So we got there, I think, about 30 minutes early. [01:00:16] Speaker A: Yep. That brings us to day four, Sam, which day four is a big one because we did one of the, I want to say one of the most fun excursions I have done on any cruise. [01:00:26] Speaker B: Yep. [01:00:26] Speaker A: Uh, so what I really appreciate about some of Royal's excursions were they're not cookie cutter, go to a beach or go to a casino or go snorkeling or all that sort of stuff. We did an excursion called the Amazing Race and this was in St. Martin, uh, and it was run by a third party company that does, like, triathlons. And basically, we got off the ship and we met up with the guides. And now I'll say there's a lot of time between getting off the ship and getting to the start of this thing. So it took a long time to get there, but once we got there, we basically did. We were paired up with another family and we did a scavenger hunt back and forth across the island to end at a restaurant at the finish line. And there were physical challenges, there was trivia challenges, there were, you know, puzzle challenges, all of this sort of stuff. I thought, amazing excursion, Sam. Amazing excursion. [01:01:13] Speaker B: Agreed. And we. And spoiler alert, we won the excursion. We won the amazing race, or whatever you want to call it, us and another family. The prize was a bottle of passion fruit rum. The other parents from now their family do not drink, so we brought home a bottle of passion fruit rum. [01:01:30] Speaker A: Yeah. So it was good. Yeah. Good excursion, Sam, you also caught, but another show on day three you saw frozen in time. [01:01:39] Speaker B: Yes. Frozen in time. I'm going to give that show two thumbs down. That was. The ice skating is great. The ice skaters are very talented, but they try to tell stories through the show. It's. I think it's. I can't remember if it's Hans Christian Andersen. They try to tell fairy tales through, through the skating. It's dopey, it's silly, it's not well told. That's the. Not a knock on the skaters and performers. It is just dopey. And I would not recommend, and I will tell you when we're going on allure in less than a month. I am not going to go see the ice skating show. They have a different ice skating show on. On allure, but I think I'm going to skip it. [01:02:17] Speaker A: Yeah. Matt's asking how physical the excursion was. I want to highlight the family we were paired up with had, like, what, a five year old with us? [01:02:23] Speaker B: Yeah. Like, yeah, it was. It wasn't physical in the sense of, like, having a climb or run, really, but it's a lot of walking. So it's that, like, you, it would be difficult for someone, like, in a wheelchair, but it would be fine for anyone who has no mobility issues. But even for younger cruisers. [01:02:42] Speaker A: Yeah. [01:02:42] Speaker B: And we booked it through royal. I'm not sure if it's available outside of royal. Beth. [01:02:46] Speaker A: Yep. They, um. That night we had dinner at the chef's table. So this was a special add on experience, uh, that we did. Uh, it was held in the solarium. It was a. It was a table that held a room. It was a private room at table that held maybe 20. But there were only six of us having dinner at the table. So, uh, six of us, uh, I thought it was a really good meal with a really good sommelier and really good wine pairings. Now, we heard a lot of hype about how this was a special menu and special wine pairings, all this sort of stuff. And Sam has since learned her friend has the same experience. Yeah. On every. [01:03:20] Speaker B: I've seen pictures online and I've seen other people posting online the chef's table, we. They had the exact same menu as us. Not all of the same wines, but some of the same wines. I will say I thought it was a great experience. It was great food, but it's not. Not a repeatable experience because it's the same on all the different ships. And I think the ship we were on has one of the better experiences because it's in kind of a private room space. Apparently, on some of the other ships, the space that they hold it in is not kind of a. It's not a private room kind of a thing. But we had a really lovely evening, and there was a lot of wine that was poured that night. Let me just say that. [01:03:57] Speaker A: Yeah. All right, that brings us to day five, which was St. Thomas day. We had originally thought we would get off the ship and take a cab over to Megan's bay beach, but after all of the stuff we had been up to that we just decided, wouldn't it be nice to just stay on board and experience some of the ship when it wasn't as crowded. That's what we did. Uh, so we pretty much relaxed that day. I think we might have done a flow rider that day, I can't remember. But regardless, it was much more of a relaxing, low key day. Um, Sam, I don't know if you, you said you wanted to talk about the buffet. This might be a good chance to just mention that, because I'm sure we had breakfast there. We may even have lunch at that buffet that day. So. [01:04:30] Speaker B: Yeah, we had breakfast and lunch at the buffet several times. And I think one time Brian and I had a late night snack, the buffet as well. I'm going to put it out there and say that Disney cruise line cabanas and obviously Marceline market are better than the windjammer buffet. The windjammer buffet has way more hours. It's open. Like, I don't know if it's all hours of the day, but it feels like all hours of the day. At least portions of it, are at least open for all hours of the day. But I thought the food quality was not as good as Disney cruise line. I actually didn't think, even though it was way bigger than cabanas, I didn't think the variety was as good as cabanas either. Um, you know the one, I mean, breakfast was fine, but I really did not have a good experience there at lunch. I also didn't like that they don't have, like, burgers and, and fries and hot dogs and stuff on the pool deck. You have to go into Windjammer in order to get that food. Um, so it's there, but because an entire area is. Is taken up by burgers and fries and hot dogs, I feel like it's missing a lot of the other foods. Like, I couldn't find, like, just a piece of chicken or a piece of pork on the buffet. So I was. Yeah, I'm not a fan of the. I don't know if you could find. [01:05:40] Speaker A: Just a piece of chicken or pork on the. [01:05:42] Speaker B: You absolutely can. I have found that on Disney cruise at lunchtime. At lunchtime, like, on any day, basically. And of course, they didn't have the peel and eat shrimp, which I know a lot of people like me, really enjoy that on Disney cruise line. So I will say buffet was not as good. It wasn't. I didn't have anything gross. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't as good. And I think that the enforcement of washing hands is not as good on. [01:06:07] Speaker A: Royal Caribbean I'm going to slightly disagree with you there. I think they do a pretty good job. But what I also appreciate about Royal Caribbean is it's not just, like, someone standing there pointing at the sinks. So, at least on independence of the seas, they had Mister Washy washy. He would stand outside and sing the hand washing song. And, like, really? [01:06:27] Speaker B: I saw a lot of people just walking right by the sinks. I mean, you were forced to walk by the sinks, but I saw lots of people walking by the sinks. Um, and so, yeah, Chris Kidder, I'm going to have to disagree with you. I think Disney's buffet is better, but royals buffet is. I'm going to say this. [01:06:43] Speaker A: No, but I'm going to say this. On independence of the seas, I actually came back and thought, wow, that buffet was amazing. [01:06:48] Speaker B: Okay. [01:06:48] Speaker A: On this ship. I agree with you, though. On this ship, I was like, man, there's, like, no choices here. Like, it's not. It was not good on this ship. So it may have just been that the oasis is having an issue with its buffet. I don't know. I don't want to paint a generalization of royal. I'm just on oasis. Didn't like the buffet on India. I thought the buffet was actually pretty good. That night, we had Sam's favorite dinner of the cruise at Giovanni. Sammy, want to tell everyone? Fabulous meal you had at Giovanni's equivalent. [01:07:13] Speaker B: Sarcastic. Brian's being sarcastic. This was the worst, the worst of the specialty. Giant. I'm not. It might have actually been just the worst meal of the trip. I will say we tried the pizza at sorrento's one day as well. I didn't think their pizza was good. I had heard, I think our friend Chad Pennycuff from the, my DVC Points podcast had said that Sorensen. Sorento's pizza is great, and you're gonna love it. Uh, no, it's not great. It's the food. The pizza on all the Disney cruise line ships is better. Um, it's not bad, but it's not great. Um, and then Giovanni's was probably, like I said, the. Probably the worst dinner we had for, from my perspective. Um, it wasn't gross. It just was not good. Let me put it that way. Yeah, yeah, none of the. I mean, I I had a decent appetizer, but my. My main, my, like, salad, my main, none of it was. Yeah, I thought it was really pretty awful. So, yeah, I would not recommend, and I would not go back to Giovanni's, but I would go back to the chef's. Table. Well, maybe not the chef's table if it's repeatable, but I would go back to chops for sure. And I know we haven't talked about it yet, but I would go back to 150 central park, which is arguably. [01:08:21] Speaker A: Our best meal that's up next for dinner on the next day. So I want to highlight the highlights of day six. So I don't want to spend a ton of time on this. But we did get an invite to see, so pinnacle royal, I think, and star class, I think, get an invite to see the navigational bridge. Tour royal offers a pay for tour of the ship, and we had originally booked it, and Sam decided she didn't want to do it. I had already seen it on independence, and so we just decided to skip it. But we got an invite through the concierge team on the oasis to go on the navigational bridge, and so we did that. That was cool. It was a very unique experience. Nathan had a blast. He went with me on the last tour that we did on indie, so he kind of seen it before. But Nathan had a great time. Him, you know, sit at the actual helm, uh, for a few minutes and get some pictures. Uh, the crew up there answered just tons of questions that people had. Um, so really cool. And I think it's just such a fun experience to have, and it's kind of disappointing to me that we can't find a way to get that on Disney cruise line to be able to, you know, see the bridge. And I should say this. We were on the navigational bridge while we were at sea, so it wasn't like the ship was parked and nothing was happening. They were actively sailing the ship between ports when we got on the navigational bridge. So, you know, I just thought that was just. It's a really cool and neat experience. Um, because of that tour, we didn't make it out to the pool deck on the sea day until around noon, and so we decided to, uh, try to take advantage of an empty, unbooked casita. And I'll just say, I'm only highlighting this because we ended up making it work. They ended up only charging us for half a day, and it was totally worth it for us because we. We wanted a shaded spot by the pool. But I will say we had the toughest time getting royal to take our money for this thing. Cause they're like, well, you can't book it in the app. And I'm like, you can't just charge $200 in my stateroom and call it good. Like, I don't understand what's going on here. So, um, it took us about 45 minutes to figure that out. Just kind of a silly thing on. [01:10:06] Speaker B: It took them 45 minutes to figure out how they could take our money, which was silly. [01:10:10] Speaker A: It was just kind of a silly thing. We also did a fun activity that day called the mystery game, which was kind of another puzzle. Like, we got paired up with another few couples, and Nathan was there, and it was like you were solving a mystery with a package of puzzles and things. [01:10:25] Speaker B: For anyone who's done an escape room in a box, that's what I would liken it to. And it was a great experience. We did awesome. We solved all the puzzles, and our team is the only team that actually solved it. It. And so we won. So Nathan ended up with a medal because on our team, it was a bunch of adults and Nathan, and so everybody was like, yeah, there's only one medal, and, yeah, the kid can have it. So he was super, super excited about that. [01:10:49] Speaker A: Yeah, that was spoiler. Yeah, we won. So that was great. I just wanted. There's some comments in here about, like, the buffet and Giovanni's and different experiences people have had, and Jamie Oliver's, which is the other italian restaurant on some of the. I just wanna say, like, we're. We're reviewing the experience that we had. We've sailed Disney many times. Uh, you know, from a buffet standpoint, didn't love it as compared to my experience with. With Disney. Indie, different experience. Giovanni's may have been an off, you know, night or something, but it was not great. I have heard that, Jim. Jamie Oliver's is different, and we might try that. So just. Just to address those comments, this is our review based on our experience, which, again, Sam's first time, my second. So just keeping it real on our own review here. Um, we did not do room service. [01:11:34] Speaker B: To answer Matthew's question. [01:11:35] Speaker A: We did not. We did not. Uh, there were so many food options. Like, I just couldn't see fitting it in. Uh, we had dinner at 150 Central park that night, which I think was. Was a very fab. It was a very elegant setting. [01:11:46] Speaker B: Really good meal. [01:11:47] Speaker A: I thought the food was really good. I would definitely go back. I don't. Sam, did you have any thoughts? [01:11:52] Speaker B: This was. This was a fine dining meal. It was not a. Not a chef's tasting meal, but it was definitely a fine dining meal. I had, like, a duo of duck as my main. It was fantastic. So I would definitely. I would definitely go back to 150 Central park. Like I said, that was probably the best meal we had all cruise. And then, you know, chops was maybe a very close second. They were both very good, but I would say 1750 Central park was a step above. [01:12:19] Speaker A: All right, this gets us to day seven, the big day. [01:12:23] Speaker B: Good, because I only got, like, two more minutes before I got to go pick up Nathan. Guys, you've got plenty of time. [01:12:29] Speaker A: We got plenty of time. Uh uh. Perfect day. Coco cake. I've been there before. The only new thing that we tried this time that I hadn't was that we got a cabana by the pool. I will just say that was a fabulous experience. I think it was well worth the money, uh, to have that space by the pool. Uh, and I will just once again say I love having access to a freshwater pool on these private islands. I thought, that is, we. I will say, for me, it was a perfect day. And, yes, I did try the secret sandwich, the chicken sandwich with the mozzarella sticks on it. So, Sam, what's your review? [01:13:02] Speaker B: I really enjoyed coco key. Coco key. I'm going to call it. I'm never going to call it Coco cay. I had a really great day. I really enjoyed the cabana. I liked that they brought you your food. You can order your food and your drinks to your cabana. I also loved hanging out in the pool. We didn't spend any time at the beach. We really. Because we had the cabana. We really just parked there. I will say we're going to. When we're on allure, we're going to be going to the, what is it called, the beach club, and we're going to try one of those over the water cabana experiences. So we'll have a very different experience to contrast with after that cruise. But I had a lovely day at Coco key. [01:13:41] Speaker A: Yeah, I thought it was great. I thought it was a great experience. I did want to highlight. So that day, we just ended up having dinner. No, we had dinner at the hibachi grill on board. I talked about that on a show that we did. Sam, I think, had. It was. It was a good. [01:13:56] Speaker B: It was a hibachi. Hibachi. [01:13:57] Speaker A: Yeah, it's. [01:13:58] Speaker B: There's nothing to complain about. It's great. It's just a hibachi. It's not like, the best food in the world. It's not the worst food in the world. It's a fun experience. Nathan really enjoys the performance aspect of the hibachi. [01:14:09] Speaker A: We did it for him. We did it for him because he enjoys it. So, good meal, but not anything to write home. About. All right, uh, last thing I want to talk about is disembarkation, then our all up. So I'll just cover disembarkation. So, um, it was interesting, we got luggage tags in our room. We were told to disregard every communication we got about disembarkation. But apparently, if you're not in a suite, you actually have to go in and kind of tell royal when you want to get off. And then you may or may not get the specific time you want. And then they deliver luggage tags to your room. And, you know, if you want luggage assistance, they do have an express off. Uh, just like concierge, they had an express down for us when it was time to get off. Uh, biggest thing that I loved about disembarkation or two biggest things I loved. One coastal kitchen was open for breakfast. [01:14:50] Speaker B: Uh, so we had a sit down breakfast. [01:14:52] Speaker A: We had a full sit down breakfast before we got off and, like, at, you know, 830 in the morning. So, like, like, it wasn't. We didn't feel rushed at all. The other thing I loved is they do have the face scanning technology on royal that they now have on Disney. And, I mean, like, we got off the ship again. It was like ten minutes. Yeah, ten minutes. The biggest hassle we had was getting the uber because of the traffic backup, and there's, like, no cell service at the terminal. So I figured out there was public wifi available. But the disembarkation was a very smooth process. Everything worked just fine. All right. With that, it's time for the all up review. And people are asking, are we going to name to the end duo? No, that's not love. Cruise line is still Disney cruise line. But I'm going to say this and I'm going to hand it over to Sam. Let me keep my review very simple. If I look at Disney as a ten in price on a scale of one to ten, uh, I think I mentioned earlier, I. So what I did ahead of the show, I took all of the expense of the base fare of the cruise and everything we purchased leading into the cruise, and every onboard charge we incurred, which were pretty minimal because everything was prepaid. [01:16:04] Speaker B: I put that all except for our spa stuff, right? [01:16:06] Speaker A: No, everything. Everything's included. Drink package? Everything. Everything we spent on the cruise. Not airfare. [01:16:12] Speaker B: Two different. We each did manicure, pedicure, and another spa treatment. So we each did multiple spa treatments. [01:16:18] Speaker A: We had the full drink package. We just explained we had four or five nights of specialty dining. We had multiple spa treatments on board. All the tips we gave inclusive of the pre cruise tips, like every, the cabana, everything, all in, just not our hotel, not our airfare, not our ground transportation back for it all in still clocks in thousands of dollars less than the base fair for the same or similar room, the same itinerary, the same week on the Disney fantasy. And so if I look at that and I say, well, Disneys, the ten on the scale and the base fair was 50%. So lets put royal at five on the scale. Disney. Like, the difference between Royal and Disney was not two x in my mind. It was not from an experience standpoint. And I would argue there are some places where royal beats Disney hands down in terms of number of activities, number of dining venues, number of bars, nightlife. I think Coco key, if you're interested in a pool, there's an argument to be made. Coco key is killing it. There's a time and a place for castaway key. So I don't want to overpivot on that. But I guess my basic point is if Disney's a five, the gap between Royal and Disney in terms of offering experience, all of it is not twice as much or not twice as good. Right. And so I do think royal will be something that's in our rotation on occasion. Now, uh, you know, especially like spring break. Like we already looked at booking a spring break in 2026. It's the same price as this year that we just paid. So they're not even like, the price isn't jacking up that much. So. [01:17:59] Speaker B: But also, let's. [01:18:01] Speaker A: That's my review. That's my in a nutshell review. So go ahead, Sam. [01:18:04] Speaker B: I'm going to echo what Brian said, but I have to give some caveats to it because there are certain things, obviously, that Disney does way back. In general, entertainment is better. In general, food is better, and in general, their family activities are better. Right. But I will say there are some things that royal does better. I mean, there's no escape room on Disney. There's no flow riders on Disney, there's no aqua show on Disney. Right. So there are some things that, like, it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison. So to me, I agree with Brian that it is something that will be in our rotation. It will not replace Disney cruise line. It certainly doesn't replace Disney cruise line in my heart, because there's something about the magic, the service, the characters, the experience on Disney that is not replicatable. But I also, on Royal will only probably sail Oasis class or better. And I would probably only say sky class or better meaning sky class or star class. So there are some benefits and things that we had that were included or available to us that would not have been available to us in a regular room or would not have been available to us on a older ship. Now, Oasis is not a new ship. I think it was built in 2008 or 2009, but it's been retrofitted once since then. We're going on the allure, which is built after the oasis but not retrofitted. So we'll have a slightly older ship, but of the same class. But, yeah, so I would. I am curious about icon and utopia, although those are certainly, you know, going to be more expensive than Oasis class. So just to be clear, I don't think I would say, like, every royal ship or, you know, is a comparable one to Disney, but this experience on Oasis has a lot of good things. There's a lot of good offerings. It's a different product than a Disney cruise line cruise, but it is a really good product. That's the, that's the thing that I came away with being like, wow, there's a lot of really cool things I could do. There's a lot of really good food available. Um, but you're. You are going to have to do that if you want to do the price comparison, you're going to have to do what Brian did, which is adding on a lot of those things that you would not be paying for on Disney because you would just go to main dining, for example, or you would not have available to pay for. [01:20:28] Speaker A: I did the price comparison because I wanted to be clear about this sort of nickel and diming argument that people have and, you know, that sort of thing. I did not hold true. [01:20:36] Speaker B: Yeah, it doesn't hold true. And we didn't feel like we were being advertised. There. There is a lot of shopping available. I did a little bit of window shopping and then I think I bought one swim shirt at the very end of our cruise. I had seen a couple people wearing and I liked, but, yeah, I didn't feel like I was being advertised to. I didn't feel like I needed to shop. It was, yeah, it was really. It didn't feel at all like that. So I would give. Honestly, I would give Royal Caribbean cruise line on the oasis of the seas, I'd give it 2000 thumbs up. I'd say it's not equivalent. Equivalent to Disney, but at, I don't know, 60% of the price. Maybe it's. And Brian, I'm stealing what you said, that maybe 80% of the experience. [01:21:15] Speaker A: Yeah. And I think in some places it's 80%. In some places it's 90, in some places it's 120. Like, I think it's a, it sort of depends on where you are, but all right, we got to wrap up because we got a son to go pick up. I hope you enjoyed this show. If you've got more questions about our experience on Royal Caribbean, feel free to shoot them to us in an email. We may do kind of a wrap up q and a kind of show. Uh, remember, again, some fabulous offers from my path unwinding travel out there. So if this piqued your interest and you're interested in Royal Caribbean, head over to mypathunwinding.com dclduo or you can email, uh, [email protected] to take advantage of those offers. 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